New Zealand Contributes $250,000 To United Nations Great Lakes Appeal

  • Simon Upton
Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade

New Zealand is to contribute NZ$250,000 to the UN emergency appeal for the Great Lakes region of Africa, Associate Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Upton said today. The appeal covers UN relief operations in Zaire, Burundi and Tanzania.

Just because the pictures of refugees have disappeared from our television screens, the problem has not gone away, Mr Upton said. There remain over half a million refugees in this area. It is undoubtedly the greatest humanitarian crisis in the world at present.

The New Zealand contribution will come from the Overseas Aid programme and will go to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The money will be used for food, medicines and emergency housing for some of the refugees.

The head of UNHCR, Sadako Ogata, who visited New Zealand last year, recently appealed to the world not to forget the Africa Great Lakes emergency and urged countries to provide further emergency funds.

The latest $250,000 contribution brings the total expended by New Zealand on the Africa Great Lakes region since 1994 to $4.2 million.